City Creek, If you haven't been, you should, it's incredible, the way its put together is astounding. It is fresh, clean, and has some very nice vendors-- if you're into that kind of thing. However, I couldn't help but wonder, why? What is this really doing for downtown Salt Lake, or the people here?
City Creek was funded by the Church ("through its commercial real estate arm, Property Reserve, Inc. No public dollars of tithing funds [were] used in the development"), but the teachings of consumer America, stands in striking contrast next to the buildings just across the streets, from the massive mall.
I came to the mall in some clothes that I felt were decent, I had no problem wearing them before I came in. But as I was going through the mall, checking clothes, watching others, I became aware of how I looked. Human nature I guess, but I felt like I was out of place, not in style, or fashionable. I was feeling a little stupid for being there.... I don't know what shook me from this state of mind, maybe my growling belly, but I started to think, "hold on, this whole mall, the idea of consuming, is garbage." And it is. Does it make you better because you wear a shirt from Brooks Brothers? Sure, because you can afford to be apart of a country club. The fat Rolex on your arm makes you more of success than me. You fit into a higher tax bracket, thus making you better. Then I thought of what Tyler Durden would say.
Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.
I'm not pissed off, yet, but what he said resonates with me. I have had the blessing of living in a third world country, seeing people, who have little to no luxuries in life, be completely happy. They work to survive, not work to satisfy an idea. And I wonder, why can't I be more like them, content with the simply pleasures of life? Do I really need a pair of $100 jeans to feel good about myself? No. Not at all, but I buy them anyway. It's habitual. I want to be accepted. We all do.
We are the Earth's greatest nation, yes? At least that is what we are told. We are brainwashed into this thinking because we have the highest GDP, largest military force, and we are the free world leader. This is not me saying that America sucks, it doesn't, I am saying that we are backwards. Our thinking has retarded. Shouldn't life be more substantial than trying to be better than everyone else, or just fitting in?
The things you own end up owning you.... We're consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don't concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy's name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.
I digress. I am talking about a multitude of things. In essence, I am saying, I am bugged that I am caught up in the hype. Angry that I am not above it. I am frustrated that I really don't know how to change it. And now I am pissed, that tomorrow morning, I will wake up and wonder when I will be able to afford a nice truck... because that is when I will have made it. Cause, you have to have money to be happy.